10 Side Hustle Tips to Help You Get More From Your Time

side hustle tips

Side hustles are becoming more and more common in the U.S., particularly among millennials and other young people. And why wouldn’t they be? A side hustle can truly be a game-changer.

It certainly was for me. Both of my side hustles have become 6-figure businesses! That success didn’t come from me wasting my time though. It was the focused time on my work that’s had the biggest impact.

Today I’m sharing some side hustle tips for making the most of your time and team in building your side hustle empire.

A side hustle can empower you to build a stronger financial future. By focusing on time management, team building, and making the most of the internet, you can take your side hustle to the next level.

Side Hustle Tips for Better Time Management

First of all, let’s tackle the issue of time management. “Not enough time” is probably the most frequent excuse for not starting a side hustle.

Every one of us has struggled with time management, right? Finding enough hours in the day to accomplish what we want to accomplish can feel like a lifelong challenge.

Obviously, a typical side hustle is being done during your spare time, outside of your regular work hours. Therefore, time management is crucial for anyone looking to create a profitable side hustle. Some of these time management tips and tricks could transform your side hustle.

Related: 5 Ways to Find Plenty of Extra Time to Make Good Money

1. Be Consistent With Side Hustle Work Time

An imperative to help you kickstart (or maintain) a successful side hustle is to set aside dedicated time each day for it. A good baseline for many people is probably an hour a day. After all, no matter how busy we may become, most of us can squeeze in one hour of side hustle work.

Don’t worry about whether you pick the morning or the evening, or even split the hour between your lunch break and some other free period. When will you be able to work most effectively? If you’re a morning person, you might get up an hour earlier each day to work on your side gig. But if evenings are wide open, utilize that time.

An hour a day isn’t a fixed rule. If two hours each Tuesday and Thursday plus 3-4 hours on Saturday mornings works best, that’s fine. Just put your side hustle time into your schedule and stick to it.

Remember that when your side hustle is growing fast, an hour per day may not be enough. Some folks work 20 or more hours a week at their side hustle while maintaining a full-time job. And if you’re passionate about your side work, believe me when I say it can take over your life – in a positive way!

While I wouldn’t recommend that for the long haul, for a stretch of time it may be necessary.

One key is to treat your side hustle like a real job. It can be hard to do, especially if you aren’t making money right away. But take your commitment to it seriously, even if there’s no one to answer to but yourself!

Related: Master Your Money (and Your Side Hustle) with PT

2. Eliminate Distractions

Oh boy, do we live in a distracted world. There’s no denying that. Social media, news outlets, corporations, and addictive apps are vying for your attention every second of the day.

So a huge side hustle tip is to get rid of distractions. Easier said than done, I know.

You may be tempted to use the excuse “I don’t have time for a side hustle.” But that’s often not the case. Most of us, if we really look closely at the way we’re spending our time, would be appalled at the amount of time we spend on pointless activity. (I cringe to think of how many hours I’ve spent on social media!)

Work to remove distractions from your life. Distractions like cat videos on YouTube and your high school friend’s baby pictures on Facebook aren’t helping propel your side hustle into huge income boosts.

Figure out what distracts you the most when you sit down to work on your side hustle (or anything else important to you.) If it’s not adding value to your life, get rid of it.

You may not need to subscribe to eleven different news websites. Shutting down social media accounts can free up hours of time. At the very least, set parameters around the use of things like social media so they don’t take over your life.

I highly recommend Deep Work by Cal Newport for helping you find time to get great work done.

Google Chrome extensions like StayFocusd and News Feed Eradicator (for Facebook) can make it easier to avoid common distractions.

Social media and news outlets can have their place. But if you want to give your side hustle a fighting chance, you need to focus your attention on it.

Related: 15 Free Time Management Tools and 5 Tips to Use Them Effectively

3. List Your Key Tasks

It’s important to hit the ground running during your side hustle work time, especially if you’re limited to just an hour each day. You don’t want to spend half your time figuring out what to do next.

One side hustle tip is to make a list of key tasks and update it throughout the day.

You might prefer pen-and-paper for this list, or if you’re more into apps, try Evernote or Todoist to help you keep track of tasks whenever they come to mind.

I actually prefer Apple’s native note-taking tool, Notes. I love that it seamlessly syncs between all my devices and the layout is super simple and intuitive. They’ve actually improved it quick a bit recently too.

Once your dedicated side hustle time comes around, just refer to your list and know exactly which tasks you need to prioritize. You won’t waste time wondering what has to be done.

Related: Time Management for Part-Time Entrepreneurs

4. Streamline Tasks with Automation

Your time is precious, so don’t waste a minute of it! As such, you need to ensure productivity during the time you’ve allotted to your side hustle. Automation is your friend.

One strategy for streamlining tasks is to create company templates with Templafy. Rather than wasting time creating and re-creating documents for company business, Templafy can automate that process for you.

I also like the Loom browser extension as a way to quickly capture video walkthroughs of your process. I find these easier to make and share than a static list.

Many tasks can be automated, such as invoicing and payments. Plus, you may consider outsourcing certain tasks to third-party companies. Tasks that are non-skilled, yet time-consuming, can be a drain on your side hustle efforts.

Related: 15 Tips for Saving Money on Your Business Expenses Without Working Harder

5. Maximize Your Hourly Earnings

However many hours you’re able to devote to your side hustle, an often-overlooked side hustle tip is to try earning more per hour. Avoid wasting much of your time on side hustles that offer a low rate of return.

You should think about potential earnings in the preliminary stages of choosing a side hustle. If you’re just starting out, do your research and aim to select work opportunities that pay a high hourly rate.

Related: 30 of the Best Paying Freelance Jobs and How to Find One

Perhaps you’re working on a project basis rather than hourly. In that case, just analyze how worth your time each payout will be. There may be some “paying your dues” where you work for less than you’d like, but don’t stay at those lower rates too long!

If you are having trouble coming up with ideas of what to do, check out Steady. It’s a sort of job board for side hustles and part-time jobs.

Steady Price: FREE At Steady, we advocate for the millions of people who are changing the way America works. That’s why we’ve created a platform that helps our community to find jobs, increase their income and plan for financially stable futures. SIGN UP FOR FREE Steady We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

6. Learn During Your Downtime

Raise your hand if your leisure time is often spent scrolling Instagram or binge-watching Netflix shows.

Okay, no one is proud of that. But using your downtime more productively is a very important side hustle tip. Yes, it may be hard to forego watching your favorite show every night, but reading educational material will do more for your side hustle.

Reading quality content like books and blogs on entrepreneurship, goal achievement, and other edifying topics will stretch your mind. You might also need to get some training to qualify for certain side hustles, so be sure to utilize your time wisely.

Podcasts are another form of educational media that can help you grow. Choose a great podcast that motivates or teaches you, and listen to it while you do your daily workout.

Related: The Top 40 Personal Finance Podcasts (Listen & Win the Money Game)

Leverage Teamwork and Collaboration

7. Join Forces With Others

Many people start side hustles completely on their own. You’ve built a viable business from the ground up, you don’t have anyone else to answer to, and it’s all going great.

However, there may come a time when you can’t continue managing the business as an individual. Expansion and growth may become necessary in order to keep the momentum going.

When you reach this point in your side hustle, don’t be afraid to ask for help. This may be as simple as hiring a virtual assistant to take care of tasks that are wasting your time. It may also be as involved as taking on a partner or hiring several more people to carry the workload.

The fact of the matter is that in certain fields, you can’t do everything yourself. Most of us can benefit from someone to help out with our weaker areas, whether that’s marketing or technology or content creation.

8. Find a Mentor

Perhaps you don’t really need a new partner or someone to work with you. What many entrepreneurs and small-business owners can benefit from is a mentor.

If you don’t already have a mentor or two, find someone who is a bit ahead of you in the same type of business. Maybe they’ve been working on the same side hustle as you for a few years longer. Someone who has “been there, done that” can offer invaluable advice and guidance.

Trust me and take this side hustle tip: find a mentor! They can help you navigate through many of the problems common to your field of work, and they can encourage you that the hard days don’t have to last forever. A business mentor can be a valuable sounding board for ideas and help you avoid pitfalls.

A quality mentor is a key factor in just about any career field. Your chances of success will be much higher if you don’t try to do it all on your own.

9. Start or Join a Mastermind

Mastermind groups can give you regular opportunities to connect with like-minded people who have similar goals and aspirations.

If you’re not part of a mastermind, find one or start your own! Check among your social media circles or visit an industry conference to see what’s available already.

Masterminds are great places to brainstorm innovative ideas because collectively we tend to be more creative and courageous. They’re a place to learn new skills and stay up with current trends.

Members of a mastermind group provide accountability and support, which is so important for any business owner.

My blogger mastermind group actually inspired me to start FinCon. And even when I started FinCon I sought other event planners to mastermind with. I’ve really enjoyed this strategy for side hustle growth.

10. Work Remotely as Much as Possible

Many side hustles are naturally remote work, and people love the flexibility and convenience of working from home or on-the-go. Getting comfortable with technology can mean being able to work from anywhere, which allows you to make the most of your time.

You can answer emails from the back of an Uber or meet with clients from a coffee shop. You can put the finishing touches on a project during your lunch break at work.

There are all kinds of services that will allow you to have a “virtual office.” From video chats to online file storage you truly can work from anywhere.

Here are some of the services we use here at Part-Time Money:

  • Zoom for video chat
  • Google Drive for online storage
  • Dropbox for online storage
  • Slack for messaging team members
  • Trello for project management

But you don’t have to use what we use. There are several options in every category of service, each with its own unique features. Do some research and figure out what works best for you and your side hustle. Many services have free options for their smaller packages. Perfect for when you are getting started.

Keeping all your files online can mean more than just ease of use. It also protects them from loss if your device is stolen or damaged. So it really is a win-win.

What is your best side hustle tip? Let us know in the comments.

side hustle tips

About Philip Taylor, CPA

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of the personal finance industry conference and trade show, FinCon.

He created Part-Time Money® back in 2007 to share his advice on money, hold himself accountable (while paying off over $75k in debt), and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence.

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  1. Hey Philip, I guess distractions is really one of my greatest weakness that I should really work on. Thanks for the great post!